A version of this story appears in Friday’s Weekend Look section of The Oklahoman. To read my review of the “Breaking Dawn – Part 2″ soundtrack, featuring Nikki Reed, click here. To read my new feature on Taylor Lautner, click here.
Actors prepare for an emotional farewell as “Twilight Saga” comes to an end
Elizabeth Reaser, Jackson Rathbone, Kellan Lutz and Nikki Reed are among the performers who have appeared in all five films based on Stephenie Meyer’s best-selling book series. The last movie, “Breaking Dawn — Part 2,” opens Friday.
LOS ANGELES — Kristen Stewart, Robert Pattinson and Taylor Lautner won’t be the only actors putting away their supernatural ways after Friday’s theatrical debut of the fifth and final “Twilight Saga” movie, “Breaking Dawn — Part 2.”
“Seeing the movie the other day was very emotional, just the end of the end of everything. I’m sort of in denial right now,” said Elizabeth Reaser, 37, who plays Esme Cullen, the matriarch of the good-hearted Cullen vampire clan, during a recent press conference at the Four Seasons Hotel.
“I just keep putting it off and like probably … Nov. 17, I’ll have a meltdown of major order, but I still think, ‘We’re doing this and it’s fun.’”
Like Reaser, Jackson Rathbone, Kellan Lutz and Nikki Reed all have been portraying members of Edward Cullen’s (Pattinson) coven since the big-screen saga began with 2008’s “Twilight.”
“I feel really sad about it to be honest. And I didn’t know if I was going to feel sad,” said Reed, 24, who plays one of Edward’s vampire siblings, Rosalie Hale, and has a duet on the “Breaking Dawn — Part 2” soundtrack with her singer-husband Paul McDonald.
“We’ve been talking about the end for so long, and we shot the last movie almost two years ago. We’ve been prepared for the last (for so long) that I felt sort of numb to the idea of it. But we’re here now, and it’s hard to comprehend. This has really been a huge part of all of our lives, at such a crucial age as well for some of us. There’s been a lot of growing and bonding.” It’s just bizarre. I can’t really think of the right word to describe it.”
The last film based on Stephenie Meyer’s paranormally popular book series picks up where last year’s “Breaking Dawn — Part 1” left off, with Edward’s bride Bella Swan (Stewart) beginning her new life as a vampire. As she adjusts to life as an immortal member of the Cullen clan, she also takes on the role of mother to her half-human/half-vampire baby Renesmee (Mackenzie Foy). When Bella’s werewolf pal Jacob Black (Lautner) forms a special bond with her daughter, he becomes like family, too.
The fate of their coven is threatened when the ruling clan the Volturi accuses them of an unpardonable crime. The Cullens gather a group of their vampire friends from around the world to stand with them against the Volturi.
“That was a lot of fun. There were so many new people, so many new vampires. It’s a very exciting world,” said Lutz, 27, who plays Emmett Cullen. “You get to see all the exciting vampires with the new powers, which is awesome. It’s like vampire X-Men.”
The Cullen actors fielded plenty of inquiries from the “Twilight” newcomers about how to play Meyer’s vampires, who don’t have fangs but sparkle in the sunlight and boast red- or amber-colored eyes depending on whether they live on human or animal blood.
“I got a lot of the questions like, ‘So, how do you deal with the …’ Reaser said. “There’s a lot of technical issues that come up with playing a vampire: the makeup, the hair and the (contact) lenses.”
For Rathbone, 27, who plays Cullen adoptee Jasper Hale, the “new blood” on the set meant new opportunities for playing pranks.
“I actually confused one of the vampires, Erik Odom, who plays one of my Texas brethren. I told him when he came to set, I was like, ‘Hey, man. Where are your teeth? You’re missing your teeth.’ He goes, ‘What?’ ‘Yeah, the fangs. You’ve got to put them on. You’ve got to run back. Go get them.’ So he thought he had fangs he forgot to put on,” Rathbone said with a grin.
“I think you did that to me on one of my first days, too,” Lutz recalled with a smile.
“I did that to everybody,” Rathbone replied.
Although they will miss the camaraderie of working with their “Twilight” “family,” the actors are looking forward to bringing the final big-screen installment of the saga to “Twihard” fans. Rathbone appeared and Reed and her husband performed at the Twilight Fan Camp Concert Saturday in Los Angeles, where diehard devotees were camped out before Monday’s premiere.
“There are surprises, so I think we’re all reticent about jumping on board the spoiler alert club. So we’ll just say that the last 20 minutes of the film are going to really, really be exciting for the fans who followed the series for years and loved the books,” Rathbone said.